Back-to-School IT Checklist

For many, the month of August represents the true dog days of summer: those hot, sticky, lazy afternoons that seem to demand you do as little as possible and drink gallons of lemonade or iced tea.

Yet, as those days drag on, eventually the breeze begins to pick up and the air begins to cool, and students everywhere are suddenly reminded of their return to their respective hallowed halls — that’s right, school.

To help ease the transition, here is a basic checklist of back-to-school items that every IT student should consider now to prepare for later:

1. Get the gadgets. You want to step back on campus up-to-date and “teched” out. Now’s the time to invest in that smart phone or new laptop, as many technology manufacturers have back-to-school specials. For example, Apple is offering those who buy a new Mac a free iPod Touch via its “Back to School” campaign. Meanwhile, Dell and Microsoft offer student discounts, and Adobe has special “education pricing” that reduces software costs up to 70 percent.

Also, consider buying software separately from the computer. You often can save money this way.

2. Figure out funding. Now’s the perfect time to shore up your academic payment plan. Make sure you’re up-to-date on all outstanding loans and financial aid applications. To help you estimate your costs, check out this handy financial aid calculator at FinAid.org.

If you need additional funding or more information, check out this page on the government-sponsored Students.gov, which offers…


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